I don’t know about you, but this whole coronavirus stuff is really stressing me out, especially when it comes to money. Since I don’t have a lot of control over the state of our economy, I’m doing my best to control what I can: our personal spending.
Now is not the time to spend frivolously
I put together this post of 14 frugal tips to help you thrive during this crazy coronavirus mess because I want to stress how important it is to save money during this time.
Now is not the time to deal with your stress by shopping online and running up your credit card.
Now is the time to watch what you spend.
Because we don’t know what the future has in store for us. We don’t know what life is going to look like over the next 12 months. Some experts are saying that we may have to live a life of social distancing for months, maybe even a year or more.
If that comes to fruition then a lot of us will be in new financial situations. A lot of us are already dealing with different financial situations. So many people in the travel, hospitality and service industries are out of a job right now.
Whether you are navigating life without a paycheck or not, it is prudent of you to make wise financial decisions right now. The most important decision you can make right now is to spend wisely.
As a naturally frugal person, I feel like I’m in my element. I put together some frugal tips that I’m actually following right now. All of these have helped us navigate tough financial times in the past. These tips even helped us pay off $150,000 worth of debt. Since these tips work so well for me, I hope that this helps you feel a little more financially secure during all of this mess.
14 Frugal Tips to Help You Thrive During Coronavirus Craziness
Stop all unnecessary spending
If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. That includes stocking up on toilet paper!
Cut out subscriptions you don’t need
I know that now seems like the perfect time to catch up on all the shows. And movies. And audiobooks. Now is actually the perfect time to sit down and look through your monthly subscriptions and cut out the ones you don’t absolutely need. If you only watch Netflix once every few months and find yourself leaning towards Hulu, keep Hulu and cut out Netflix. I promise you don’t need all the streaming channels no matter how much you want them. Check out this post to learn how to listen to audiobooks for free.
Make food from scratch when you can
Convenient food is pretty convenient when you’re busy, right? Well, I’m willing to bet that you have a little more time on your hands right now. Maybe not enough time to harvest wild yeast and make your own sourdough bread, but I bet you do have enough time to make mashed potatoes from real potatoes instead of buying the ones that are already mashed in the refrigerated aisle. Next time you shop, ask yourself if you could make a cheaper version from scratch easily, if so, do it!
Rice & beans are your friends
I don’t care how much you prefer fresh food. Rice and beans are your BFF when you are trying to eat a hearty meal on a budget. Skip the microwavable bags of rice and cans of beans. Opt for dried beans and the biggest bag of rice you can find.
Limit your meat consumption & watch your food waste
Not only is this great for your wallet, it’s great for the environmental. Practice meatless Monday or start eating meat every other day. You can even start subbing beans or mushrooms for half of the meat in most recipes. Check out this post to save money by wasting less food.
Out of the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle), reuse is my favorite. Start coming up with creative ways to reuse things that you would normally toss. You can most commonly see this trait when you visit your grandparents and they have a million yogurt tubs. Can you relate? Seriously though, finding creative ways to reuse things is a great way to reduce what you might have to buy later. You can see some of my favorite reusable items here.
Try to fix things before you buy a new one
Did you know that mending things is trendy? Apparently stitching patches on bedspreads and clothes to get more use out of them is something that is trending among the young people these days. You don’t have to learn how to stitch fancy stitches, just knowing how to replace a button or stitch up a seam can help you get more life out of your clothes.
Make your own seasonings or buy in bulk
Okay, so this kinda goes along with #3, but it is such a great way to save money that I needed to make a point to go over it. Taco seasoning, ranch, and so many more seasoning can be found from quick google searches. For some reason my kids have hated every single taco seasoning I’ve made so I prefer to buy mine in the bulk spice section of Sprouts. It is so much cheaper than buying the ready made stuff next to the taco shells. I also like this one from Whole Foods.
Make your own laundry and dishwasher detergent
This is a game changer. I feel like this is the gateway DIY to making you feel like you can DIY any cleaning product. Typical detergent costs 21 cents a load. When you make it yourself, it costs as low as 4 cents a load. Amazing! Check out 5 of my favorite laundry detergents here. You can also learn about 3 easy ways to make your own dishwashing detergent.
Side hustle like your livelihood depends on it
If you lost your job in this mess, then you really do need to side hustle like your livelihood depends on it, because it does! Just because life is different doesn’t mean that you can’t find a side hustle from home. Now is the time to launch that blog, teach English online, or be a call center rep. Get more ideas here.
Shop local when you can
This may sound strange, but sometimes shopping local is cheaper than big box stores or chain restaurants. I often find that supporting local farmers is cheaper than going to the grocery store. Remember, all of us are navigating tough times. When you shop local, a larger percentage of the money you spend stays in your community. If something is going to be the same price no matter where you shop, spend mindfully and support your local economy.
Seek simple pleasures
Simple pleasures are usually free. I’m talking about sitting outside and listening to the birds, watching the sun rise or set, or cuddling your kids or pets. Start seeking out the simple pleasures in life and fully appreciate them.
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